SAMe stands for S-Adenosyl methionine and is a major part of the SAMe cycle, which affects many aspects of human health. Even though we synthesize SAMe in the liver, it is possible to take a supplement to aid in numerous bodily functions.

The primary benefit of SAMe for cognition is combating symptoms of depression [1]. There are also memory enhancements with SAMe especially for patients using SSRI therapy [2]. The SAMe interacts with the cholinergic system in the brain and may have therapeutic effects for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and senile dementia [3].

There are some side effects of SAMe, but it is generally considered a safe supplemental option for general health.

Also Known As

SAME, SAMe, Ademethionine, S-adenosyl-L-methionine, Adomet


Benefits of SAMe

The primary benefit of SAMe is related to reducing depressive symptoms. In one study, SAMe reduced depression symptoms by 65% in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease [4]. Another study showed that SAMe had similar potential for treating depression as many of the other prescription drugs on the market [5]. Most of the other research regarding SAMe revolves around this compound in the body in depressed individuals.

For example, persons who suffer from depression often have low levels of the molecule [6] and once they start taking SSRIs, the SAMe levels increase [7]. In some cases, the effects of SAMe supplementation are even more profound than SSRIs such as the case in one study where the patient did not respond to SSRI treatment [8].

Another benefit of SAMe is for cognitive improvements. While the effects are not adequately studied, studies suggest that this molecule helps increase creatine (and thus energy) levels within parts of the brain. The evidence suggests it might be able to improve cognition in a similar way as creatine [9].

This molecule is also useful for improving cholinergic functioning (and thus memory, learning, and neuroprotection). Supplemental SAMe increases acetylcholine receptor density, which helps improve cholinergic function [10]. Downstream effects of this include improved memory formation, learning ability, and protection against age related cognitive decline (such as Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia).

How Does SAMe Work?

SAMe is considered a methyl donor and is synthesized in the body for this purpose. By traveling through the bloodstream, it helps to aid and preserve certain reactions within the cells for metabolic stability. This has many of the downstream effects we described in the benefits section. A deficiency in this molecule can cause depression and a host of other ailments including osteoporosis.

Side Effects of SAMe

There isn’t much evidence on the side effects of SAMe, but it is considered a relatively mild nootropic drug that has few risks. Even though it is synthesized in the liver, that does not mean one can take this drug at any dosage. One rare case study showed that supplementation could induce manic episodes when the patient had no history of such behavior [11]. While this might create some fear, it is a rare occurrence.

In general this drug is considered a safe and effective nootropic compound for improving brain and general health.

SAMe Dosage

The recommended SAMe dosage is around 600 – 1200 mg per day. Usually people take 2 – 3 doses to get this quantity.

How and Where to Buy SAMe

This supplement is widely available to purchase at your local health food store and even basic grocery stores. While it is not an incredibly popular supplement, it is basic enough that any health food store will have it though at an increased price.

The most cost effective way to buy SAMe is via the internet. There are numerous retailers that sell SAMe and many of the products are considered safe. This is one of the few products where you don’t necessarily need to be worried about the brand unless it is shady looking and does not have many good reviews from happy customers.

Our recommendation is to buy SAMe online with Jarrow Formulas. This is a brand that has a great reputation and their product is affordable on Amazon.

Selected Community Experiences

I particularly like stacking SAMe with racetams and a cholinergic. Swanson sells the best brand I've tried, better than Jarrow or Doctors Best. Just be sure not to break the coating on the tablets or the seal on the blisters, as the chemical is sensitive to air.” [12] – Deonaire_Death

“I've taken two does of 400mg over the last two days. The first day I barely felt anything, nothing really good or bad. Today I've noticed my focus is mildly better.” [13] – SynergizeWithMe

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